Peter Duncan (actor) bigraphy, stories - Scouts

Peter Duncan (actor) : biography

3 May 1954 -

Peter Duncan (born 3 May 1954) is a British actor and television presenter, best known as a former presenter of Blue Peter and for his later family travel documentaries.

Early career

Duncan's early career was as a stage actor, appearing as Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island followed by two years at Sir Laurence Olivier's National Theatre. His notable television roles include work on The Tomorrow People, Space 1999, King Cinder, Play for Today, Warship, Oranges & Lemons, and season 2 of Survivors. His roles in films include Kit Nubbles in Quilp, Kevin in Stardust and a brief role in the film Flash Gordon, with his character dying after a few minutes on screen.

Duncan played one of the leading roles, Jimmy Carter, in the 1977-1978 ITV children's television series The Flockton Flyer.

2007 onwards

In 2007, Duncan took part in the Channel 4 series The Games.

More recently, he has written and directed Oxford Playhouse pantomimes.  In 2007, he played Macduff in Macbeth at Regents Park Theatre, London, 
and filmed a documentary about the Scouts climbing Everest. accessed 26 Dec 2012 His one man show Daft and Dangerous appeared in the 2009 Edinburgh fringe. accessed 26 Dec 2012 In 2011 he took part in Total Wipeout: Celebrity Special Series 5 (BBC). He finished 2nd, missing out on the top spot by just 1 second to Marcus Patric, 20 years his junior. 

Duncan featured on Pointless (game show) on BBC1 in December 2012 alongside Mark Curry. Also in December 2012, Duncan starred as "Muddles the Jester" in the Snow White pantomime at the Regent Theatre in Ipswich.

Return to the stage

After leaving Blue Peter permanently in 1986, he returned to the stage, most notably in the musicals Barnum, Me and My Girl and The Card for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. In the 1990s he appeared in numerous pantomimes, some of which he also produced through his company Here's One I Made Earlier, including Robin Hood at the Lewisham (now Broadway) Theatre in South East London. He has written and directed the Oxford Playhouse pantomime since 2006.

Chief Scout

Duncan was appointed as the 9th Chief Scout for The Scout Association in the UK, for a five-year tenure from 5 September 2004. There was some controversy over this appointment because of his only ever having been a Cub Scout before rejoining the organisation as an adult. The number of Scouts and volunteers rose during his leadership.

Peter Duncan's five-year tenure ended in July 2009, when Bear Grylls was officially made Chief Scout at Gilwell 24 2009. The handover event featured Duncan and was in front of a crowd of over 3,000 Explorer Scouts on 11 July 2009.

Family travel documentaries

Between 1999 and 2005, Duncan filmed and produced three travelogue documentary series. Each series consisted of six episodes and featured his family embarking on backpacking trips around the world. The family also consists of Duncan's wife Annie, and their four children: Lucy, Katie, Georgia and Arthur.

The first series, Travel Bug, charted a six-month tour of the world. Filmed in 1999 when the children were aged 7 to 13, the series was shown on children's television on BBC1. The next series, Chinese Breakaway, charted the family's two-month backpacking trip across China in 2002. The series was aired on Five and Sky Travel. In the third series, Arthur's trip to India (also aired on Five), Duncan's 13 year old son was featured as the chief presenter. A one-off additional episode (Arthur's trip to Jordan) followed his son to the heart of the Middle East.


Duncan was a student at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, an independent stage school in London.

Blue Peter

He joined Blue Peter in 1980, and shortly afterwards it was revealed in a tabloid newspaper that Duncan had appeared nude in the British film The Lifetaker (1975). The BBC refuted that he was ever a porn star in The Times.

He ran in the first London Marathon in 1981 (in 3 hours and 10 minutes) and ran again in the 1991, 2001 and 2012 events. In 1987, Duncan's book Duncan Dares was published, giving details of his daring activities on Blue Peter, from Water Beetle to Hang Glider.

Unusually, Duncan had two periods with Blue Peter, being on the team from 1980 to 1984, and again from 1985 to 1986. During his stay with the programme, he became associated with the kind of daredevil stunts previously popularised by John Noakes, and these continued in his own spin-off series, Duncan Dares. On 20 February 2007 Duncan was awarded the highest Blue Peter Award - The Gold Badge. This badge has been awarded in his role as Chief Scout of the UK.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine